November 30, 2005

Is the Pope unchristian?

The Boston Phoenix

The Roman Catholic Church, which for the last 20 years or so has taken so many wrong-headed positions on social issues, has just made another disastrous mistake: as expected, it has reinforced and extended its ban on gay men — even if they are celibate — becoming priests.

On a simple but nevertheless very real level, the idea is absurd. The Catholic Church, for almost 1600 years, has either discouraged or forbidden its priests from marrying. It has always denied women ordination. As a result, it bars women from its most powerful administrative roles. It is no surprise, then, that the Church is without a doubt the world’s largest gay bureaucracy. As Damian Thompson, a devout Catholic, wrote recently in England’s arch-traditional Spectator (no doubt with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek): "In addition to being Europe’s smallest state, the Vatican also boasts the highest proportion of homosexuals per square foot."

It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the ban is a rebuke — if not an outright condemnation — of the years of service and devotion that gay priests living and dead have faithfully rendered to their church. Even the memories of such conservative icons as the late cardinals O’Connell, Spellman, and Wright (who may or may not have been faithful to their vows of celibacy but who would certainly today be recognized or outed as being gay) are devalued.

Posted by kshaw at November 30, 2005 10:44 PM